Volunteers helped the annual Maxine DeHart-United Way Ramada Hotel Drive-Thru Breakfast raise $45,000 in October for the 2017-18 United Way of Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen annual fundraising campaign.—Image: Carmen Weld/Black Press

United Way closing in on it 2017-18 fundraising goal

Central and South Okanagan/SimilkameenUnited Way is looking to raise $1.2 million

The United Way of Central and South Okanagan/Similkameen is nearing the close of its annual fundraising campaign and is reminding the public that it’s not too late to donate.

The official campaign, which set a goal of raising $1.2 million last fall, ends Jan. 31. But United Way CSO executive director Helen Jackman said the total will likely not be known until March when all the national workplace campaign totals have been accounted for.

Jackman said she expects this year’s goal will be met and currently about 75 per cent of the total has been raised.

“Progress is good this year, but we need help meeting the growing needs of the community,” she said.

According to the United Way, with one in five children living in poverty, a growing homelessness crisis, and nearly 50 per cent of families in the community only two pay-cheques away from losing their home or car, the organization continues to address these issues and the root causes of poverty and homelessness that contribute to the disparity.

“No matter how small, your donation matters,” said Jackman. “Last year, our funds were oversubscribed by around 50 per cent. Every cent raised locally stays right here in the Okanagan. Help us meet the very real needs right here on our doorstep.”

Last year, the United Way invested more than $1.4 million with more than 40 agencies in the region in three focus areas supporting vulnerable kids, youth, families and seniors. They included, but were not limited to, kids development programs, shelter beds for homeless and at-risk youth, or providing affordable counselling to families and children.

For a complete list of funded programs and social impact initiatives, go to unitedwaycso.com/what-we-do/.

There are several ways to donate to the United way— through workplace payroll deductions, or for individual donors can call 250-860-2356 or toll-free outside Kelowna/West Kelowna at 1-855-232-1321. Online donations can be made at unitedwaycso.com/donate.

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